We study the influence of numerological superstitions on people’s buying behavior in the apartment market using unique actual sales data. Based on the dataset from Saint-Petersburg primary real estate market we compare the share of sold apartments on floor 7 with that on floors 6 and 8, whereas floor 13 is benchmarked to floors 12 and 14. As floor plans are absolutely identical we manage to isolate the effects of the “lucky” and “unlucky” floors. The data we use allows clean identification of superstition effects, while being publicly available. We have found a clear negative effect of the 13th floor on demand for apartments, and a significant effect of preference towards the 7th floor compared to the two neighboring floors. Possible applications of our approach to other areas of consumer research are discussed.
A series of 7 experiments found that people defer important decisions more than unimportant decisions, and that this is independent of choice set composition. This finding persists even when deferral does not provide more flexibility (Experiment 2), when deferral has potential disadvantages (Experiment 3), and when deferral has no material benefits and is financially costly (Experiment 4). The effect of importance on deferral was independent of potential choice conflict (Experiment 5 & 6). The only exception was a situation in which one alternative was clearly dominant; here decision importance did not affect the likelihood of deferral (Experiment 7). These results suggest that people use decision importance as a cue for deferral: more important decisions should take more time and effort.